Category Archives: web and tech

news and events relating the web and tech development

clues to cycle world’s future hinted

wsj reports on hearst new media aspirations

One of the first departments to get the ax after Hearst announced last June the completion of the HFM media sale that included Cycle World among others was that brand’s social media department.

That was followed last month by a rumor on the alt-lifestyle site Hell For Leather (subscription required) that the title was already up for sale, again, possibly to the first bidder willing to step forth and make an offer. Any offer.

Today’s Wall Street Journal announcement has Hearst looking very closely at the digital components of their extensive media empire, which now includes 15 dailies, 38 weeklies, nearly 200 magazine titles, and an eclectic collection of local t.v. and cable outlets ranging from A&E to ESPN.

WSJ points out the obvious: Hearst is caught in the same dilemma as very other purveyor of traditional media; namely, a no longer debatable downward spiral of sub and ad based revenue that, like Rosebud, is lost forever.

And it is to that end that corporate strategy now seems heavily focused on building out Hearst’s Interactive Media group and with it a pronounced shift in emphasis from old to new media and with it all the promise offered by the tech sector.

Too soon to tell if any of this will spill over to the Newport Beach offices of America’s most popular two-wheel journal. But if it does, that can only be good.

tim tebow: just do it just got better

here’s how viral’s done

There’s not much Tim Tebow does that I don’t like. Actually, there’s nothing he does that I don’t like, and a whole lot that I do. His new web site has a fresh look, his YouTube collection’s growing, and he’s keeping his head above water in the Denver altitude.

If this ad was built around anyone else, it would be a laugher. Instead, it just brings a smile to my face. Role model? It doesn’t get any better.

dunlop wants you to know

dunlop download magazine

download dunlop online magazine

Dunlop’s 68-page Download Magazine is their most recently distributed PDF contribution to online publishing. This issue includes features on the Isle of Man, Robbie Maddison, the Barber Motorsports Museum, X-Games, and a conversation with Elena Myers—the first woman in history to win an AMA road racing national.

Visuals are gorgeously done – showing that print and digital can play well together.

Want more? There’s some interactivity; links include archival access for a look back, videos, product comparisons and the team moto web site upgrade.

harden leaves husqvarna

harden announces resignation

In a major head turner in the world of off-road, Scot Harden, long time former marketing director at KTM, announced his departure after a short-lived reunion with his original and current employer Husqvarna.

Harden said it, “…was certainly a tough decision,” but left plenty for others to speculate on as far as where he’ll land next by saying that, “… there is some exciting new terrain for me to explore.”

His departure signals what in all likelihood will be his last involvement with the BMW owned Italian manufacturer of originally Swedish off road rides. The Southern California rider began his career as a factory rider for Husqvarna when it was still a Swedish owned company, a position he’d hold for over a decade before moving on to other OEMs.

During his time with KTM Harden scored major successes on the world rally stage, most notably his Red Bull sponsored Dakar and Baja teams, before returning to Husqvarna in 2008.

fresh twist in online ads

Got caught up reading a link from Poynter Institute’s Daily Beast RSS feed and noticed this tasty fresh approach to presenting online advertising – note the word wrap to the ad’s outline.

For all I know this technique’s been around awhile but it’s the first time I’ve noticed. End result: eyecatching integration and another step closer to replicating print sex appeal in an increasingly flexible online framework.

buell brand warrior bites back

ouch! this buell brand warrior skewers the motor company

This bullseye parody by halfthrottle over on YouTube has garnered nearly 150,00 views since it was posted on May 24th, and though Harley’s flailing marketing isn’t specifically called out, it’s a broad – and accurate – indictment of a brand that can’t decide what it should be.

It isn’t until the final frame that the impetus links back to Harley throwing Buell under the bus in 2009. But regardless of the inspiration, there’s no way to argue with the summary judgement of a powerful brand that’s been drifting on the wind for the past three decades. And that’s now paying what may be the ultimate penalty for a status quo strategy.

marketing + pr: twin sons, different moms

Shun Or Hug? What Is Marketing’s Role In A Public Relations Practice?

Looks like there’s an opening for using marketing techniques in the message driven landscape of public relations. I’ve always felt comfortable with both and think integration is 1) a good thing and 2) entirely appropriate – assuming proficiency – for maximum audience reach.

Personal experience? PR skills tend to be a developable talent, while marketing instincts depend on process and can, to a much greater extent, be absorbed.

Can PR and Marketing Live Under the Same Roof?

If so, it would be like having two… two… two… mints in one. Given the light speed evolution of mass communications from primarily print delivered by primarily the U.S.P.S., it’s inevitable that public relations dialogue mashes up with marketers advertising message, creating a hybrid format that better fits the digital medium’s need for visuals.

To me, that’s what it looks like is happening, as print only media has blown up and broadcast only media is drying up. Put another way, for PR to rely solely on past best practices renders the message old before its time in a 24/7, app-driven, always on e-reader world.

Check this out at PRBreakfastClub for a first hand account of crossing over.

harley again in the headlights

billy's always riding off into the sunsetIn an Ad Age marketing report out today, staff reporter Judann Pollack shoots – and misses – on a roundup of her Top 15 list of baby boomer brands. She hitches HD in the number two spot, right behind Levis (good call) and two spots ahead of — Slinky. Slinky? The Walking Spring Toy? What the…?

Other head spinners include Noxzema, Frye boots, Clairol, and Club Med. Hey, I’m confused! Just because you can still remember doesn’t make it so.

At least one commenter has already posted up the news that Honda, in the ’60s, was all over the joint with their iconic message of meetups with swell sidekicks.

The topic of which boomer brands deserve top billing is one I’m not going to fire up here. But the contributions by AA posters sure bring back memories, some of which were perhaps better forgotten. (If Boone’s Farm rings a bell, well, too damn bad. My head’s still clanging like a cheap car alarm in a parking lot full of blind drivers.)

The Hollywood adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity is probably safe. Then again, check the list and wonder, as I do, if this doesn’t complicate, rather than improve, TMC’s message.

tabasco sauces it up

clever marketing - live mardi gras as it happenstwitter-er Tom Martin hooked up with sponsor Tabasco to bring live guerilla cam Mardi Gras action direct to screen at his microsite MyMardiGras Experience. Tom’s a NOLA agency guy who this day busied himself cam-corder-ing a live stream of the Mystic Krewe of Barkus or some such promenading down the side streets by dozens of the city’s finest pooches.

shine a light – green the ghetto

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

When you think about obstacles in life, you usually don’t start out considering a young black woman who wants to turn urban ghettos into pastoral parkland. But it sure works. This is a story about vision, determination, competence and confidence.